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Sydney Bristow is a young, athletic, college graduate who was recruited her freshman year as a secret agent for SD-6, a top-secret branch of the CIA. After a few years -- after Sydney confides her lifestyle to her boyfriend, the evil head of SD-6 -- Arvin Sloan, has him killed. Sydney learns that SD-6 is part of a rogue international agency called the Alliance of 12, out to rule the world. She becomes a double agent, working with the real CIA to bring down SD-6 with the assistance of her handler, Michael Vaughn, and her estranged father Jack Bristow -- also a double agent. Along the way, Sydney fights various rival agents, rival terrorist groups, and traitors all the while keeping her cloak-and-dagger lifestyle a secret from her friends. (Season 1) Written by
Enjoyable but not a grown up series and feels a bit forced at times
Sidney Bristow is a college student who has an unusual job she is a spy working for the CIA under secret conditions where not even her friends knows what she does. When her boyfriend proposes Sydney tells him what she does for a living and her employers kill him in line with procedures. Deciding to leave the agency before they kill her too Sydney discovers that she has actually been working for SD6, an agency that is actually a shadowy criminal organisation world-wide. Sydney joins the CIA and works as a double agent to help CIA Agent Vaughn to bring down SD6. She finds that her father is the other double agent within SD6 and the pair work together. While following her missions to uncover the work of the prophetic Rambaldi she must feed information back to the CIA without blowing her cover.
When this series started on TV last year there was a lot of hype about it being the teenage 24 and other such things. When I saw the pilot I wasn't overly taken as it had too many `music video' moments and the action seemed forced. However I stuck with it and, once I got into the way it all works then it became actually quite enjoyable if not exactly gripping. The plot is pretty stretched never more so when a run of 15 or so episodes are based around getting the work of a prophet who may have designed the ultimate weapon etc. However it is still quite fun to watch and moves along with a certain amount of energy and pace. The cliff hangers are often a little forced and didn't keep me waiting for the next show. In fact most of the `cliff hangers' are sorted out in the first few moments of the next episode.
The overall theme of Sydney versus SD6 is one that runs consistently well even where the week to week plots may be weak. The action of the weekly missions is OK and I was glad to see that the series did not go the way of just putting Garner into different skimpy clothes each week as a way of getting an audience (although she does do that quite a lot!). Sydney's friends are also given reasonable side plots rather than just filling out the cast. The journalist is the best subplot although it isn't consistent and runs out of steam, while Francie's romances don't quite fit the rest of the action they do make an occasional change of pace.
Garner is very sexy and can also act very well and is a good lead. She deservedly has had good film roles out of it. Vartan is very good as Vaughn and has a good chemistry with Garner without going overboard on the `will they won't they' thing. The support cast is full of famous faces who do sterling work most noticeably Garber and Rifkin. Also the guest stars who come and go for a few episodes here and there are quite good with even Quentin Tarantino giving a good performance. It's not all perfect but the cast do good work generally.
The series may not be well enough written and the thrills are mainly manufactured and temporary, although the running plot is enough to keep tension and excitement running through the show. Overall this series is polished and slick and is well serviced with a good cast and a reasonably good plot. Series one has been good if not great and I can see what series 2 will be dealing with. However I hope that they stop after 2 (or 3 at a push) series rather than taking it too far and outstaying it's welcome.
Series one has been enjoyable if not perfect and I will be looking forward to series two, I hope it can keep up the energy, polish and enjoyment of the first series and maybe even improve on it's weaknesses.
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